A first look at guilt

Guilt and exercise / or not exercising

I’ve been thinking about guilt lately, specifically how it relates to exercise.

Are you torn between your guilt about exercising and not exercising. Spending time working out or with family? Do feel like your brain is on the treadmill even when you’re not?

Have you felt guilty about not exercising?

Or guilty about exercising when you could be doing something for your family?

I’m here to tell you to get over it!

If you’re doing something productive –

If you feel guilty about not exercising – are you doing something else that’s worthwhile? Are you working? Earning a living? Helping your family with something? If you’re engaged in an activity that’s productive, then you can work out another time. Schedule it! Put it in your calendar! (One that you actually refer to on a regular basis.)

If you’re not doing something else worthwhile, then you should feel guilty, so get up and move!

Seriously, though, you’re probably spending more time and energy feeling guilty than you would if you’d stick in a DVD and did a workout. You’ll feel terrific afterward – virtuous and healthy!

Are you exercising when you should be doing something else?

Are there really important things that you should be doing when you’re working out? Or are they just things to get to … some time?

If they’re the really important things, go do that and, again, schedule a workout.

Now, only you can determine if those things you’re thinking about are “really important things” that should be done now, or if they can wait.

The key, it seems, is to prioritize tasks. And then use your calendar so you’re sure not to forget the specific tasks that you need to get done.

But don’t leave out exercise!

If you’re feeling guilty about spending time on yourself when you could be doing other things for family, friends, or work, then don’t.

By spending a little time (as little as 30 minutes a day 4-5 times a week) on yourself exercising, you’ll be gaining a healthier you. A you that will be around longer for your family. A you that can spend the quality time with your family that they deserve. And a you that will be more productive at work.

So stop feeling guilty. Write down and prioritize the things you need to do.

I really don’t feel like it…

Being an adult means …

Don’t feel like it. No how, no way. But part of being an adult is doing stuff you don’t want to do.

We had a plumbing problem a couple of days ago. One of the drawbacks of living in an older house is old plumbing. About 10 years ago we re-piped most of the house with pretty new copper pipes because we redid a bathroom and had to open walls. All the galvanized pipes that were reachable were replaced.

But the kitchen was not included in the re-pipe. So the kitchen had 60-year-old pipes. And those pipes were prone to clogs. We’d been able to deal with those clogs up until a couple of days ago. Nothing we did solved the problem. We could not reach that stubborn clog.

We undid the pipes we could reach and cleaned them out. We tried using a water blaster. Nope.

Next day …

So we put the problem on hold until the next morning because there wasn’t anything else to do that night. I washed the dishes in the bathroom and my sister called the plumber. The dogs were confused…

And now, we have brand new pipes in the kitchen.

But the point is that our plumbing problem was not going to go away by itself. And nobody else was going to solve the problem. We had to be adults and figure it out.

What an adult does

Besides being able to do what you want to do when you want to do it, being an adult means making sure the bills get paid on time. Taking the dogs out on schedule.

Being an adult means eating healthy (most of the time) so that you can live a long and fulfilling life.

And being an adult means working out when you really, really don’t feel like it.

And when it’s done it won’t be weighing on you. You won’t have to remember it for tomorrow.

And being an adult means you get to do everything all over again tomorrow.

Is your head exploding?

Stress is bad in more ways than you know. It can also slow down your metabolism. Many people are stress-eaters. If you feel stress, every couple of hours, take 5 minutes and just breathe. Empty your brain and focus on your breathing. Close your eyes and think of water, mountains, flowers (like pansies), or whatever makes you happy. Not work. Not the kids. Not all the chores that aren’t getting done! Just the ocean or snow-capped mountains. Set a timer so you don’t worry about the time.

When the timer goes off and you open your eyes, you’ll be in a better frame of mind to tackle the work, the chores, and the kids.

If you’re not into meditating but still feel the stress. Go for a walk! Climb some stairs. If you have one, close your door and dance to a couple of your favorite songs. Bounce on the balls of your feet and get the blood moving. Sing along if you want to! (Off-key is fine!) Again, when you go back to your desk, you’ll be better able to manage the stress.

You won’t want that candy bar, but definitely have a drink of water! Your metabolism be chugging along, and you’ll feel much better.